John 3:11 may not shock you as it does me and I hope this look at one aspect of the Nicodemus encounter will bring home the impact of Messianic testimony in contrast to the testimony of the highest level of Jewish thought. Yeshua uses a very kind “we” to address the poverty of knowledge this ruler displayed. We know, we speak, we see, and we witness combines solidarity and diversity. I understand you cannot witness to the things you have not seen, but you have no excuse for not knowing that people need a makeover.
Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know and testify of what we have seen, and you do not accept our testimony.John 3:11
Sinai has to be primary reading for any Jew and the teacher – ο διδάσκαλος didaskalos – because Moses’ five books are the core of Jewish learning. The rehearsal of the Sinai events in Deuteronomy 5 brings to view the need for rebirth. A doctor in Israel in New Testament times ought to have known that rebirth was the only way to have a lifesaving and golden relationship with God. Nicodemus is on the record for venturing out to discover answers to his anxiety.
We cannot avoid the fact that Yeshua sees a great deal we do not. Moses was not aware that the people’s refusal to hear God’s voice was fine. The rash promise “We will do all that yhwh says” was not simply eagerness for the voice to stop. It discloses the human problem of the incompatible heart. The people were afraid of dying even though Moses survived the tempest of divine presence. Yahweh had come to speak with Israel and the people declined, shuttling Moses back and forth.
Oh that they had such a heart in them, that they would fear Me and keep all My commandments always, that it may be well with them and with their sons forever!Deuteronomy 5:29
God had an encounter greater than Sinai and a covenant distinct from Sinai. Jeremiah and Ezekiel predicted new hearts and new laws. The don’t-know doctors of our days are out driving us back to Sinai instead of checking in with the Bishop of all Souls, even at night.